They can make you or break you. They give you the chance to make extra money while others do the heavy lifting. Someone else handles sales, shipping, and customer service. All you have to do is direct traffic - potential customers - to the right place.
In a way, Affiliate Marketing is like receiving a finder's fee for locating buyers for the product creator. However, your name will be associated with this business, and because of that, before you decide who to go into business with you need to weigh your options with care.
Obviously, you want to find the best affiliate programs. While you only have one thing to do - drive traffic to the product - that one thing is not easy. The product(s) you bring should be everything that you desire. Even more importantly, the product(s) must be excellent quality, and at a good value for the purchaser.
You want something that is effective, efficient and profitable. Below are some things to consider.
Product or Service?
You want to market a good quality service or product. This makes continuous sales and therefor profits for you. If you are marketing a product, it must be something you can depend on. It must have fresh, usable content that has a "wow" factor. If you decide to market a service, it must be dependable. It must provide good value, and live up to the promises of its sales letter. Is it an established service that many people need? Make sure it is not merely a "flash-in-the-pan" service that will have a very short shelf life, then become stale.
You should search for Affiliate Marketing products with an open and objective mind. A critical mistake many new affiliate marketers make is to pick products based on personal preference. You must use due diligence, and search through the affiliate directories for many ideas. You may come across several possible selections. When you do, you can then narrow your search even further, using objective measures provided by the affiliate directory. You'll find some of those criteria below.
Affiliate Marketing Considerations
Remember, you do not have to go with only one product. There is no rule that says you cannot be associated with several products. You will want to consider commissions. How are they paid? Will it take weeks or months to see any money? What percent of the sales price do you get paid? This can have a lot to do with your final decision.
Also consider tracking methods. How do they track sales and sales leads? It is easy to understand? Is it effective and foolproof? Contact someone from the company. If they cannot tell you about their tracking methods, that should raise a red flag. Look for company references and testimonials. Try to communicate with people that are in business with them. This will give you an inside track to make an informed decision.
Visit websites of some of their marketing affiliates. How are they set up? What happens when you click on their link to the company? Make sure everything works as it should. Do you like what you see? This may also give you good ideas for your own website. Study the website of the company that sells the product. Is it easy to navigate? Would you want to buy the product if you were a potential customer?
Click on a contact link as if you were a customer. Find out how they treat inquiries. You want to know whether or not they professionally handle things.
Affiliate programs are a great way to generate extra income. The company that you are associated with will handle the orders. They will take the money and ship the product to the customer. All you have to do is direct people to the website. Choose a reliable company and a reliable product. Put yourself in the role of a customer to get an idea of the business operations. Visit the websites of other affiliates. These things will help you make a better, and probably more profitable, decision.